Audi’s presentation at the recently closed Paris Motor Show included a range-extended concept version of the Spyder. This two-seat sports car was shown as a demonstration of the automaker’s latest innovations. The e-tron Spyder also provides evidence to skeptics that a plug-in sports car could not only be possible in the near future but marketable. The most notable aspect of this concept is that it could achieve up to 621 miles per trip thanks to a plug-in hybrid drive system.
The e-tron Spyder is powered by a V6 diesel engine with 221kW output as well as two electric motors that produce 64kW. Audi also utilized a 9.1kWh lithium-ion battery to facilitate all-electric travel. Designers refined the vehicle’s brake system to ensure faster response times along with shorter braking distances. These brakes also collect excess energy during deceleration and full stops to recharge the battery pack. The Audi hybrid drive system shifts most of the torque to the rear axle for improved performance.
Estimated performance for the e-tron Spyder would surpass even the best hybrids on the road today. Audi estimates that the concept could achieve 107 miles per gallon based on lab testing. This fuel economy rating would be due in part to an all-electric range of 31 miles per charge. Another reason for this high rating is an electronically limited maximum speed of 155 miles per hour. The e-tron Spyder could travel on all-electric power at speeds up to 37 miles per hour. The automaker claims that its latest concept could hit 60 miles per hour from a dead stop in 4.4 seconds.
This sports car of the future achieves high speeds and improved fuel economy thanks to the Audi Space Frame. Audi designed the e-tron Spyder using recycled aluminum panels and carbon components. These elements keep the car under 3,200 pounds so that the drive train is not bogged down with extra weight. The Audi Space Frame is also designed low to the ground to reduce wind resistance at high speeds. The e-tron Spyder will not be replicated part for part but Audi is working to combine efficient propulsion with existing approaches to body design.